Music moves me. It makes me want to get up and dance. Even if you don’t feel the urge to shake your groove thing when your favourite song comes on, the music is still moving you – literally.
Sound is vibration traveling as a wave. When this wave hits your eardrum you vibrate. This is how you hear. The characteristics of the vibration influence the way your body functions.
Music can irritate you, making you feel anxious and restless. Or it can soothe you, lower your blood pressure, regulate stress hormones, and make you feel calm. It can revive you, boost your immune system, increase your productivity, and improve your memory. It can soften your defenses, helping you release emotions that you’ve been holding deep inside. It can sharpen your focus and fuel your confidence.
Your thoughts, emotions and actions happen because the neurons in your brain are communicating, and sound waves affect your brain waves. So music impacts how you think, feel and act.
Your heartbeat responds to the frequency, tempo and volume of sounds, speeding up or slowing down to match the rhythm that it feels.
So if you want to get yourself into a desired state – try music. It will move you whether you notice it or not.
- If you are tired and sluggish try a hit of music instead of caffeine.
- Play music while you’re working for greater focus, creativity, productivity ~ and that hit of dopamine it releases in your brain.
- If you are feeling stuck in your life play something you’d usually never choose. Let new and different music surprise you right out of your rut.
- Need some courage? Choose an anthem to pump you up for that pivotal moment.
- Use it as a meditation. Focus all your attention on birds singing outside your window or a beautiful piece of music of your choice. Every time your thoughts wander, just bring your attention back to the music. Feel it wash over you and through you.
- Listen to the music of life. At times you may feel bombarded by noise. Cities are loud. Rather than resist it, try to hear the music in it all – the low drum of machinery, the soprano of children’s laughter, the horn section on the highway.
- Make your own. One of the best ways to vibrate with music is to sing, chant, hum or play an instrument. Don’t worry about being good enough. Do it for the good vibes you’ll create.
This weekend I was part of a sound healing experience. I didn’t even know it was going to happen. I was just checking out an alternative church. Then Guy Douglas started playing a gong. After that he played Tibetan bowls and other beautiful instruments unknown to me. With eyes closed I focused on the sounds, and could feel the powerful vibrations wash through me. The cells in my body were resonating with nuances of the sounds, making me feel more alive. The nausea I’d had all morning softly dissolved. I was experiencing the healing power of music. I was altered by it.
Coincidentally I had set aside time later that day to write about the practice of listening for Pleasure As a Spiritual Path. I hadn’t been able to get into the groove of that particular practice for some time. But after this amazing experience of sound, the words just flowed right out. Whatever was blocked in me had been shaken loose and I was free to write. And I have the music to thank.
photo by Cheryl Kaufman